The Minnesota Wild held their own in a physical battle with the Colorado Avalanche but a controversial goal by Nathan MacKinnon helped the Avs prevail to a 4-3 shootout victory on Monday afternoon.
The matchup with the Avalanche had the feel of a home game for the Wild. With a slew of fans making the trip to Denver, the Ball Center erupted with chants of "Let's Go Wild" in the first period.
But eventually, the Wild found themselves trying to kill a 5-on-3 power play. With Brandon Duhaime and Ryan Hartman in the penalty box, Colorado cashed in with Mikko Rantanen's 20th goal of the season to get on the board.
The Avalanche extended the lead later in the first period on Alex Newhook's eighth goal of the year but Kevin Fiala answered in the second with his 100th career goal.
The physicality picked up as Jordan Greenway was thrown into Avalanche goalie Darcy Kuemper that knocked him out of the game After a spirited brawl with Kurtis MacDermid, the Wild went into the third period down 2-1.
But Kirill Kaprizov took the game into his hands, scoring on a one-timer for his 15th goal of the year that tied the game at 2-2.
The Wild appeared to let the game slip away late on an Avalanche rush late in the third. Nathan MacKinnon's shot was initially stopped by Kaapo Kähkönen but his own momentum carried his puck under his skate and into the back of the net.
The play was initially called no goal but after a lengthy review, the Wild were down 3-2.
With time winding down, Kaprizov had the answer, tying the game on a Pavel Francouz rebound before celebrating with a Wild fan in the front row.
The game went to a shootout where Mats Zuccarello and MacKinnon were stuffed in the opening round. After Kevin Fiala was stopped in the second round, Rantanen put a wrister past Kähkönen to put the Wild on the brink.
Kaprizov took the ice with the game on the line but Francouz made a glove secure the victory.
The Wild (22-10-3) will have a couple of days off before traveling for the first game of a home-and-home with the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday night.